For those of you that have kept a beady eye on this site over the past few days, may have noticed a few changes around here.
To cut a long story, the Raspberry Pi that I use to run my WordPress site ran out of space, and it took me days trying to figure out how to back up the OS and restore things to a large SD card.
I eventually succeeded, but it got me thinking about viable alternatives to WordPress - preferably one which is fairly easy to back up and restore should I need to completely reinstall the operating system.
I did briefly reconsider moving to a static site generator like Hugo and use a git-based system for version control and off-site backups.
As cool as they are, the lack of a full WYSIWYG editor really puts me off as I feel that it has a negative impact on my writing workflow. It's just a personal thing, and I go into more detail about this here.
For this reason, I feel that static site generators are not an option for me, as I much prefer using a Content Management System (CMS) which I can (ideally) self-host on my own equipment.
Among the most popular CMS's out there include Joomla and Drupal, but they feel a little out-of-date and irrelevant for my needs. They don't really focus on people who just want to blog.
I've heard of Ghost CMS before, but never really got round to using it on one of my websites, so I thought now would be a great time to test it out.
Since Ghost is built using Node.js, it's relatively easy to set up, so I downloaded and installed a local copy on my laptop and migrated all my WordPress content over, which was much easier than what I thought.
Once I got the right theme selected and ironed out a few issues (such as post formatting, etc) I really liked the end result.
I currently have a separate computer which I use for running Linux containers thanks to Proxmox - a fantastic open source project for creating and maintaining virtual machines and containers.
Rather than using my Raspberry Pi again, I decided to run my new production site (this site) inside a container, meaning that I won't have to worry about issues such as upgrading an SD card every time the site grows as I can just allocate more disk space.
My thoughts on Ghost
Unlike WordPress, Ghost comes with everything you need as there is no need to install a whole suite of plugins just to get things going (e.g. managing SEO).
Ghost works right from the start. It's quick, secure, free, and comes with a nice range of customisable themes too.
I can see why it's described as "The Creator Economy Platform" as it allows you to focus on the things which matter - writing stuff. Ghost is designed for content creators and bloggers in mind (just like me).
Ghost features something called the Ghost-CLI, meaning that I can manage all the technical stuff within the command line. One such feature is the backup tool, which I plan to set up using a simple cron task at some point.
It also has a convenient newsletter feature (with the option of paid subscriptions) which I'm, thinking of using too.
So far, it's fair to say that I really enjoy using Ghost, and I certainly don't see myself making the hop back to WordPress anytime soon.